This month, the Artchives Method & Documentation Series at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives in East Harlem is presenting a solo exhibit of the work of renowned sculpture artist, Jorge Luis Rodriguez.
The exhibit, entitled “A Monument to the 500 Years of the Cultural Reversal of America,” was originally a large-scale, commissioned project, which is the artists scathing indictment of the negative aspects of the colonization of the New World – A Timely message and continued discussion in this Country. The original exhibit contained a medieval ship which was twenty feet long – he called it a flying Galleon. It contained 126 ceramic slaves in the “hold”, hands clasped, legs together. Curator Annex Burgos has taken the original exhibit and brought it down to scale, recreating the Galleon as a painting on the wall of the library, with 50 of the original 126 ceramic slaves beneath.
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The room is filled with artifacts from the original 1993 installation, including the Musical Boxes which are the artists’ homage to the African cultural heirloom, the steel drum – each named for the African regions. They are his tribute to the rhythmic contributions of Africa to music and dance. The Helm and Cristobal Colon figurine from the Galleon, as well as paintings, drawings and sculptures, are also on display. In speaking about this exhibit, Rodriguez will tell you that he feels much like a Navigator for the Galleon, and would like to bring the viewer into this installation as participants.
This is also the 30th Anniversary of the artists sculpture “Growth”, which was the very first Percent for Art sculpture in our NYC Parks, installed in the East Harlem Art Park on 120th Street and Sylvan Place in 1985, his work is part of the permanent collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Harlem State Office Building and many Institutions. This exhibit, which opened on October 28, will be on view through February 26, 2016. It is a free exhibit, located at Centro Library and Archives, Hunter College, 2180 Third Avenue at 119th Street.
In the same building, you can also view Hunter East Harlem Gallery’s new exhibit, “If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?”, which highlights twelve contemporary artists dealing with the power seeming from the acknowledgement of death. This exhibit is also free and open to the public through January 9, 2016.
For more information go to: http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/about/events/exhibition-and-reception-next-week
Photo credit: 1) Artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez next to image of “Growth.” 2) Artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez receiving a Proclamation from the Office of Melissa Mark-Viverito.